Among the responsibilities of an MMDA constable are to ensure a smoother flow of traffic and write citations to offending motorists - that's just to name a few. What they can't do, though, is confiscate licenses and tell drivers to get down from their vehicles, or to even detain those who break traffic laws.
However, Bong Nebrija wants to give the agency and its constables more authority and, in a way, some police powers. On his Facebook page, Nebrija said, “Give us the authority to confiscate licenses and pull out drivers from their cars who do not want to surrender licenses specially those entitled drivers who often delay our apprehensions”. To push his case forward, the traffic czar then brought up the case of the 'five minute girl'.
“Can you imagine how long it took for us to complete a PhP200 apprehension? I even asked the PO1 on scene to pull her out of the car so we could tow her vehicle and the officer asked me 'Sir ano ba yan traffic or criminal case?'...I said both, it started as traffic and then criminal for direct assault when she hit my motorcycle rider”.
Nebrija expressed his dismay when no resolution was reached following that. He further added that the MMDA needs more authority in order to deal with violators who speed off from an apprehension or pull out drunk drivers from their vehicles, more so if a police officer is not available on site. He then mentioned that there are too many procedures when their constables are faced with a road traffic accident.
“Eh simpleng banggaan kailangan pa kaming tumawag ng imbestigador kapag walang available we are obligated na ihatid pa yung both parties sa traffic bureau pulling out our own men from their deployment. [In a simple accident, we still have to call for an investigator (from PNP-HPG). If none are available, we (the MMDA) are then obligated to bring both parties to the traffic bureau, pulling out our own men from their deployment.]”
In essence, Nebrija wants the MMDA to have the authority to detain violators if they are proving to be a danger to the public, and/or their constables. He then ended the note with this statement: “This is not only about arrests this is making us more effective as enforcers not to mention gaining more for us some institutional respect”.